LONDON: In wake of great human and economic losses due to Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced Thursday that the passengers could be prohibited from travelling on Tube trains and buses in London without face a covering.
He hopes to persuade the Government to change its position on the issue, but he has the option to “make it mandatory in London only”. Existing guidance from Transport for London only goes as far as advising passengers to wear face coverings, which is in line with nationwide policy.
Sadiq Khan told the London Assembly: “Next week I’ll be considering whether I need to use the option I’ve got to make it mandatory.” He said he will lobby the Government in a bid to “reach a sensible compromise”, as he noted that some train services in London are not under his control.
“We don’t want confusion,” he explained. “When there is a crisis, what’s important is to have message clarity.” He went on: “I leave the option available, which is to make it mandatory in London only. But I’m hoping we can persuade the Government to do the right thing.”
The death toll in the UK from confirmed cases of Covid-19 rose to 35,704, an increase of 363 on the day, culture minister Oliver Dowden said at a daily briefing on Wednesday.
NHS England national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said the number of coronavirus patients in hospital had fallen below 10,000 for the first time since March.
He told the daily Downing Street press conference: “I would highlight that the number of people in hospital is now below 10,000. “I think that’s the first time since March that we’ve seen a fall that has come down below 10,000 in terms of the people who are actively in hospital who test positive for Covid-19.”
Prof Powis also said there had been a “slow increase” in vehicle movements, which he said was probably due to people returning to work, but that public transport usage remained low.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said he wanted schools in England to return at the same time, just hours after his Cabinet colleague Robert Buckland said there may not be a “uniform approach”. Mr Dowden also said holidays within the UK could return as early as the beginning of July.